PEOPLE ARE turning in greater numbers to growing their own food and this year spent €20 million on seeds and plants, new research has shown. Bord Bia says the value of herbs, fruit and vegetables for “planting out” had doubled over the past decade. It said analysis of the purchasing habits in the Irish garden sector, which compared the half-yearly spend between April and September over the past decade, has reinforced grow-it-yourself as a key emerging consumer trend.
“It indicates a keen emerging interest by Irish consumers in growing their own food,” stated the report in Bord Bia’s weekly bulletin on market trends.
When the researchers looked at what Irish people were buying, they found herbs are by far the most commonly purchased product, followed by salad vegetables, leafy greens, root vegetables, onions, soft fruits and seed potatoes. They found that 43 per cent of the purchases involved herbs and 21 per cent salad vegetables, like lettuce and cucumber, with 15 per cent of the purchases being cabbage, broccoli and other greens.
Onions, shallots and soft summer fruits accounted for 8 per cent of the sales, with seed potatoes making up just 5 per cent of sales. Some 3 per cent of the sales involved hard fruit like apples and 12 per cent of the market was described as “others”.